Diastema or Gaps Between Teeth: Causes and Solutions

Do you have gaps between your teeth? This is a common dental occurrence — orthodontists call this a ‘Diastema’ — which can appear for a number of reasons. An orthodontist can explain the causes and solutions of diastema. Some patients with a diastema like the character it brings, others prefer a more conventional smile. Your teeth and your smile are extremely important, therefore any changes or improvements to them should be done safely and predictably with a true expert. 

Gaps between teeth

Whether you don’t mind the gap or prefer to fill it, you’ll find all you need to know about diastema or “gappy teeth” from Clear Choice Orthodontists.

Causes of gaps between teeth

With teeth, it often helps to get to the source of the problem. There can be many causes of diastema. Smaller than average teeth and/or a larger than average jaw can lead to significant spacing between the teeth. Growth quirks happen regularly. For some, the tissue between their teeth and gums (what orthodontists call the labial fraenum) can be a little too generous in size. Research also shows that both tooth sizes and jaw sizes are hereditary!   

Sometimes, spaces between teeth can be a warning sign too. Gum disease is a serious non-genetic cause of tooth spacing; the gaps can signal that the disease has advanced. Inflammation in the gum and bone around the teeth can loosen your teeth and cause gaps. As most serious and chronic gum disease (periodontitis) is relatively painless, it may progress without you knowing about it. This emphasises the need for regular check-ups with your family dentist.

Do gaps between teeth get bigger with age?

Your teeth are constantly shifting and growing, and many people find that their teeth will continue to shift throughout their life. This may mean that gaps in teeth can get bigger over the years, or in some cases they may get smaller. Sometimes, gapped teeth will simply come together naturally. There are often gaps in baby teeth (we all have that photo). When more adult teeth come through, these gaps can close without intervention.

You’ll need to have a consultation with an orthodontist to understand how your teeth are shifting as you age. 

Gapped teeth can be an attractive feature too

Beauty is subjective. There are plenty of examples of gapped teeth as a hallmark of beauty. From French actress Brigitte in the 50s and 60s, to supermodel Lauren Hutton, Madonna, Lara Stone, Eddy Murphy or Ed Westwick; a diastema can be a unique and characterising addition to an individual’s appearance. And it can be for you too.

Treatments for diastema

Your specialist orthodontist will advise you regarding all of your options, depending on your individual circumstances. Clear aligners (e.g. Invisalign®) and traditional braces are an excellent path to a permanent fix. In many cases, this can avoid any need for restorative dental work.

A word of warning around DIY gap fixing products

Be wary of “Gap bands” – a controversial do-it-yourself treatment method that may seem attractive due to the low price. They are not recommended by registered health professionals as they can be very dangerous. The small rubber bands loop around the spaced teeth and are meant to pull them together. However, these tight bands can move up under your gums and become lodged, and irreversibly damage your teeth. This can result in loose teeth or teeth that need to be removed. It’s always best to leave any treatment for diastema to the professionals. 

For more information on closing the gap in your smile contact your Clear Choice orthodontist.

Your smile is unique...

…so your treatment will be as well.

Your local Orthodontist is specially trained to recognise the range of factors that contribute to diastema, and they will be able to explain your options and discuss with you what suits you best and what you want.

So click the link below to find your nearest Clear Choice Orthodontist and get ready for your new smile.

all Orthodontists are qualified dentists

they then study for an additional 3 years

including 5,000 hours of practical training

specialists in correcting misaligned teeth and jaws